The motorcycle world recently lost Kevin Ash, one of the most well-liked, respected and professional motorcycle journalists in the UK. In addition to contributing to Rider since 1997, Ash wrote each week for the UK’s biggest circulation broadsheet newspaper The Daily Telegraph in its Saturday Motoring section, as well as for the country’s popular weekly Motor Cycle News. He was a regular contributor to UK monthly motorcycle titles, too, and his work is syndicated in more than a dozen foreign countries.
Ash was involved in an accident during a BMW motorcycle press introduction in South Africa and died at the scene.
“It is with deep regret that BMW Motorrad confirms the fatal injury of Kevin Ash in a motorcycle accident during a launch event in South Africa,” said a statement issued by BMW. “The accident happened to the north of a town called George, 250 kilometers east of Cape Town. Out of respect for Kevin’s family and friends, no further information is being made available at this time.”
Ash’s website is ashonbikes.com, the mission of which is, “To publish incisive, honest and entertaining reports, assess the latest motorcycles and scooters as they’re meant to be ridden, provide in-depth information for novice and expert riders, all backed up with the best bike pictures you’ll find anywhere, web or print!”
Although he lives in the UK, the Rider staff has had the opportunity to hang out with Kevin here in California and at many an intro around the world. His honesty, accuracy and quick wit were complemented by his passion for motorcycling and the ability to ride like the wind, his gentle warmth for his family and friends and a brotherly good nature. He will be dearly missed and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.
We often relied upon Kevin to get us advance ride reports and photos from overseas intros and events, since he always seemed to be there. When we asked for a report from the annual International BMW Motorrad Biker Meeting in Garmisch, Germany, one year, he surprised us with the following tale (an excerpt is below). It was published in the May 2007 issue of Rider and you can read the full version here. I only wish I still had the unedited version!
God Speed, Kevin. No more speed limits.
Excerpt from Great (Mis)Adventure: Six Countries and Garmisch BMW Motorrad Meeting:
This was going to need some serious spicing up. You’d expect a weekend gathering of 30,000 motorcyclists in a single place to be a source of countless laughs, drunkenness, wild stories, mad antics and mayhem. But 30,000 BMW owners? That’s the annual International BMW Motorrad Biker Meeting in Garmisch, an upmarket ski resort south of Munich, Germany, near the Austrian border, which the attendance figures say is a hugely popular festival. I’m not a BMW owner, though—OK, I wasn’t, but we’ll come to that—and the idea of hanging around for three days listening to Germans talking animatedly about valve clearances, road safety, Compact Drive Systems, liters per hundred kilometers or whatever it is that stops them from falling asleep on the autobahn, had me very worried about what the heck I was going to write about.
Pride comes before a fall, they say. London Pride, in my case, about three pints of it, because by that stage in a pub one night the idea of making my own way to Garmisch by bike to add an interesting angle seemed pretty clever. Yup, should get a bit of a travel thing out of that (hic)…yeah, I’ll have another! Right, er where wozh I? Do what? I know, I’ll buy a Beemer… for lesh than 500 quid! ($900). An’ I’ll ride it there, easy! You wanna bet? ’Course I can! (hic). Shorry shorry, I’ll wipe it up. Peanutsh?